ItalyFreelance Market Research Analyst Since January 4, 2017
Francesco has almost twenty years of experience in finance, consulting, business management, and sustainability. Throughout these years, he has worked on more than 20 projects as a consultant at Bain & Company and launched Uber operations in Turin, Italy. Lately, he has founded Tondo, an organization spreading circular economy concepts, and Tondo lab, a company driving the implementation of clean and circular innovations. Francesco is passionate about innovation and entrepreneurship.
United StatesFreelance Market Research Analyst Since August 31, 2016
Josh is an investment banker turned VC who lives in Denver, CO. At Morgan Stanley, he covered the world's top hedge funds and sold over $5 billion in IPOs for companies like Alibaba, LendingClub, GrubHub, and more. He also has experience in M&A, startup fundraising, and as a founder. Currently, Josh is one of the managing partners of Konvoy Ventures, a VC firm focused on esports and video gaming.
United StatesFreelance Market Research Analyst Since May 23, 2019
Jimmy has executed and evaluated $1+ billion in debt, equity, and M&A transactions at the investment bank JP Morgan, the private equity firm Warwick Group, and as a consultant. He's advised businesses ranging from pre-revenue startups to $1+ billion public companies in a broad range of industries. Jimmy holds an MBA with honors from Wharton, and he joined Toptal to help clients create tangible value while learning about new business models.
United StatesFreelance Market Research Analyst Since March 20, 2018
Pala is an award-winning entrepreneur who founded three tech companies, growing one to 250+ people and leading another to an exit that generated a 16x return. He serves on the boards for startup and growth-stage eCommerce, market research, job pairing, and analytics companies. Pala has expertise in business strategy, financial models, marketing, customer, competition research and analytics, go-to-market and pricing strategies, and growth consulting.
United StatesFreelance Market Research Analyst Since March 13, 2017
Surya has 15+ years of finance, strategy, and deal experience. Most recently, he helped spearhead corporate development and ventures for the consumer health and wellness unit at Advocate Aurora Health. He's also led corporate development, M&A transactions, and strategic planning at the Fortune 100 firms Ingram Micro and MGA Entertainment and performed $25+ billion of valuation advisory work at PwC. Freelancing allows Surya to provide critical analysis and guidance to corporate executives.
United StatesFreelance Market Research Analyst Since January 31, 2017
Greg is an experienced finance and corporate development executive. He has led corporate development and finance teams at several technology companies, completing many acquisitions and divestitures. He has worked as a CFO and a consultant for both large public companies and smaller venture-backed businesses specializing in the technology and fintech sectors. Greg joined Toptal to leverage his experiences in finance, M&A, strategy, and business development.
United StatesFreelance Market Research Analyst Since September 20, 2016
Ellen specializes in answering her clients' complex financial and analytical questions with innovative techniques. She is excited to bring to Toptal clients a vast set of tools to employ on analytical projects. Her unique talent is a seamless combination of data sourcing, programming, financial analysis, storyboarding, and visualization.
United StatesFreelance Market Research Analyst Since September 29, 2016
Jeffrey is a Harvard University graduate who focuses on investment banking for startups and funds, parallel to being a freelance CFO. As an investment banker, he has acted as an interim CFO for 300+ companies and funds. A few highlights of Jeffrey's career outside consulting include being a partner at a VC fund, banking with Morgan Stanley and HSBC, and co-founding a real estate brokerage.
Market research analysts are skilled at ascertaining who will buy your company’s products or services. This guide to hiring a market research analyst features interview questions and answers, as well as best practices to help you identify the top candidates for your company.
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What do I need to look for when I choose a market research analyst online?
Look for someone whose résumé and online profile demonstrate their expertise in researching hard-to-find information using a variety of unique and specialized data sources. Time spent as a market research analyst is important—look for a minimum of five years—and experience in the industry and location you’re interested in are valuable. Additionally, when looking at candidates online, review their work samples, as well as how they present themselves, to help you assess their written and visual communication skills, and their approaches to presenting data.
How do I choose between two quality market research analyst candidates?
When you’re trying to decide between two strong candidates, compare their experience in the field, expertise in the sector and issues you need analyzed, and ability to communicate and present data visually. It may also help to consider whether you’re likely to need someone to conduct primary research, like interviews and focus groups, or secondary research, which draws on existing data. Give preference to the candidate with more experience in the germane form of data collection. And bear in mind that a good market researcher is not only experienced, thorough, and responsible, but also creative and agile, so it’s wise to prioritize those characteristics as well.
Why is market research important?
Market research is critical for both large and small businesses because it helps them quantify risk/reward trade-offs when they’re analyzing new initiatives. Without a grounding in good market research, products may not find the markets they need to survive as offerings, and companies may founder as a result.
How do you conduct market research?
Market research requires a knowledge and understanding of data sources. Additionally, good market research analysts will devise creative ways to acquire information that may not be readily available, such as creating detailed surveys or conducting focus groups. Finally, to be effective, an analyst must be able to distill complex information into an insightful report.
What are the main types of market research methodologies?
There are many ways to approach market research, and different methodologies make sense for different business needs. Primary market research methods use elements like surveys that create new data. Secondary market research methods, which are more common, source, aggregate, and analyze existing data and research. Additionally, both primary and secondary market research data can be qualitative, describing qualities of relevant information, or quantitative, expressing relevant information numerically.
What are the most important technical skills that market research analysts should have?
When you’re hiring a market research analyst, be sure they’re comfortable with some or all of the following, depending on your company’s needs:
Data collection tools – Analysts use a variety of sources for their data, such as surveys, trending keywords, social media platforms, and audience insights. They may use tools such as Qualtrics, Google Trends, SurveyMonkey, and Semrush to help collect data.
Statistical analysis – Many tools have a statistical analysis feature, but market research analysts also need to have a deep understanding of how to translate statistics into actionable insights.
Data visualization tools – Data dashboards and data analytics suites like Tableau and QlikView enable analysts to display their data in a structured, comprehensible way.
Programming languages – Many market research analysts know programming languages, such as R, SQL, SAS, or SPSS, which feed into their data gathering and data interpretation efforts. If your company prefers a particular language, you may want to specify that in your job description.
How quickly can you hire with Toptal?
Typically, you can hire a market research analyst with Toptal in about 48 hours. Our talent matchers are experts in the same fields they’re matching in—they’re not recruiters or HR reps. They’ll work with you to understand your goals, technical needs, and team dynamics, and match you with ideal candidates from our vetted global talent network.
Once you select your market research analyst, you’ll have a no-risk trial period to ensure they’re the perfect fit. Our matching process has a 98% trial-to-hire rate, so you can rest assured that you’re getting the best fit every time.
Eric is a financial services professional with 14+ years of experience as a sell-side, buy-side, and startup professional, advising on debt and equity deals from $10 million to more than $1 billion. While at Apollo Global Management, he deployed more than $2 billion into funds across various structures and sectors.
Industries in Search of Data-backed Customer Insights Need Market Research Analysts
There’s a great deal of demand for market research analysts—so much so that the US Bureau of Labor Statistics expects that the profession will grow by 19% for the decade ending in 2031. That anticipated expansion is hardly surprising though, given that an increasing number of industries are recognizing the value of performing data-based analysis on their potential and actual customer bases. What does a market analyst do that’s so useful in this regard? Expert market researchers can help your business expand into new sectors. By collecting and analyzing information about your business’s consumers, competitors, and market conditions, these specialists can pinpoint the products and services that will appeal most to your market and what new customers will be willing to pay.
Finding good market research analysts can be challenging, in part because they aren’t required to have any certification to practice. You can find market research experts through a variety of sources, including online consultancies, specialized management consulting firms, and investment banks. If your business enters new markets frequently or requires regular updates on market trends and reporting, you may want to hire someone full time. If, however, you’re looking for research for a specific project, it makes sense to hire a well-qualified freelance analyst. Ultimately, the best candidate for your initiative will bring to bear experience that’s relevant to your business’s unique situation and demands. This guide details how to identify and hire the right market research analyst for you.
What attributes distinguish quality Market Research Analysts from others?
A good market research analyst has deep experience in researching hard-to-find information using a variety of unique and specialized data sources. They should also have strong communication skills to convey the results of their research and their insights clearly. The best analysts are not only skilled and knowledgeable, but also creative and resourceful. After all, if specialized market data were readily available, you wouldn’t need an analyst.
Over the course of a short engagement—and depending on available resources—a market research analyst can provide significant value to your company.
When hiring, expect an experienced candidate to be able to determine the following:
Who are your business’s customers and what is the most efficient way of reaching them? The analyst may build out customer personas; assess prospective products, locations, or distribution channels; and propose go-to-market strategies.
Which products and services (current or prospective) do customers want or need?
What primary and secondary factors influence the buying decisions of your customers? Among universal factors such as price, convenience, branding, etc., which factors are the most impactful? Which factors are less important?
What prices are appropriate for the proposed products and services? What are your competitors charging? How should you project prices in the future and analyze the elasticity of prices?
Who are your business’s direct and indirect competitors? How do they operate? What are their strengths and weaknesses? (The analyst may suggest a SWOT—Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats—competitive analysis to determine this.)
Who is your target market for a given product or service? Analysts may break down market dynamics into potential available market (PAM), which is the entire market possible for your product; total addressable market (TAM), which is the total market demand; serviceable addressable market (SAM), which is the part of TAM your company can reach, geographically and/or logistically; and serviceable obtainable market (SOM), which is, in essence, your target market.
How can you identify the ideal Market Research Analyst for you?
The best candidate for your project should have a variety of hard and soft skills, including:
Research expertise – The ability to find and gather data on a business’s consumers and competitors—within the context of business-specific needs, use cases, and stakeholders—is crucial. Generally, for any market research project, you’ll want to hire a senior-level analyst to get the best results; aim to find someone with a minimum of five years of experience.
Data analysis – Deep knowledge of the science of analyzing raw data to reach meaningful conclusions for a business is key. This can involve not only knowing how to work with the data directly, but also how to work with automation and algorithms that have been created to help manage it.
Statistical analysis – Closely related to data analysis, statistical analysis involves the management of large amounts of data to identify trends and patterns.
Data visualization – The ability to represent data in formats like charts, graphs, tables, and maps will enable an analyst to make data-driven information more accessible and understandable to your business.
Relevant previous market research experience – In addition to general research skills, past experience with industries, regions, and methodologies particular to your use case is valuable. It can save time and effort if the person you hire already has familiarity with the niche industry that interests you, e.g., cryptocurrencies or music.
Creative critical thinking and writing – A good analyst can present an argument persuasively, provide detailed supporting data, and explain the methodology used to arrive at their conclusions.
Regardless of your business’s use case, a good analyst should also possess facility with relevant software programs, including:
SPSS – Statistical Package for the Social Sciences is IBM software that can be used in the analysis of complex statistical data. Though it was created for use in the social sciences, it’s frequently used by market research analysts too.
PowerPoint – Presentation is vital for this discipline, so mastery of the tools and conventions of this frequently used program is important.
To hire the right person for your business’s use case, you may also need to consider whether you would be better served by a market research analyst versus a data analyst or data scientist. It helps to start with a good understanding of how you want to receive and use the information. A market research analyst’s core skill is the ability to aggregate and analyze both hard numerical data and softer qualitative data in order to compile a digestible report for business professionals. A data analyst’s core skill is the ability to mine numerical data and then aggregate or analyze it and report it in outputs like charts, tables, and other hard quantitative analytics.
Like a data analyst, a market researcher may use primary market research elements—like surveys—that create new data, but may also incorporate secondary market research methods, which source, aggregate, and analyze existing data and research. Additionally, market research analysts may use both primary and secondary qualitative market research data, which describes qualities of relevant information. Whether to hire a market research analyst or data analyst ultimately depends on what would be the most useful for your company in a given use case.
How to Write a Market Research Analyst Job Description for Your Project
First, define the information gap you want to close, i.e., explain why you need a market research analyst and what you would like them to find out for you. (Be sure to mention your industry if it’s not readily apparent.) If you are considering whether to offer digital products, for example, your needs for an analyst will be different than if you’re assessing whether there would be a market for your services in Australia. The clearer you are about your needs, the better potential candidates will be able to evaluate their ability to help you.
Next, compile any relevant market intelligence, data, and materials you have and keep them handy. Include a brief overview of where you are in the information-gathering process to help potential candidates understand the scope of what remains to be done.
Finally, as you write the job post, share information about your desired deliverables—what you expect the final report to include and what form you’d like it to take. If there are specific technical proficiencies or expertise you would like the candidate to have, mention those too.
Remember that the more comprehensive and detailed you’re able to make this description, the better the chances that you’ll find candidates who are good matches. You may want to consider using this template to help you or as a point of comparison.
What are the most important questions to ask when hiring Market Research Analysts?
Having a good understanding of what you need an analyst to do and what deliverables you need will go a long way toward streamlining the interview process.
Just as with candidates for any job, by the interview stage you’ll understand their education and prior positions, and you can delve into their experience and how it applies to your particular use case.
Preparing a few questions will allow you to ask the same questions of all the candidates so you can compare their responses. Following are some questions you might ask:
How would you approach this particular use case?
It’s important to have an understanding of how the candidate would obtain and organize their data and what factors they would consider key to providing the answers you need. Would they plan to conduct primary research—creating surveys or focus groups—and, if so, who would they question and what would they ask? Or would they rely on culling research that’s been compiled and, if so, what sources are they aware of to tap for the information they need? Having them talk through their process will help you assess how well they understand what you’re looking for, as well as how closely they are attuned to your query and your industry.
What form will your deliverables take?
To be effective, a market research analyst must be able to distill complex information into an insightful market research report. Now is a good time to establish what they typically deliver to their clients and make sure it aligns with what you want to receive. Note that while you can certainly negotiate, it’s always helpful to work with someone who already has familiarity with your preferred format(s).
What’s your experience with this particular region/industry/sector?
Prior knowledge can save valuable research time and help ensure accuracy. You will have a sense of each candidate’s experience from their résumé but asking them to talk through it will help you evaluate how much they have learned from their experience and how well they understand the terrain. You may have two competent candidates, but if one has worked with Asian tech markets and you’re interested in expanding your tablet market in Indonesia, that person’s familiarity with the region may win the day.
What was your process like the last time you worked with a use case like this one?
Ask the candidate to cite recent relevant experience and note how the candidate approached the case they describe, paying attention to how much nuance they provide. Did they give the case the kind of informed and dedicated attention you would want them to provide for yours? Do they seem to understand the particularities of the terrain?
Why do companies hire Market Research Analysts?
Companies hire analysts to learn more about customers. Market research analysts can find, compile, and analyze data about your business’s competitors, consumers, and sectors. You might hire an analyst to study consumer preferences, business conditions, and other factors in order to assess potential revenue for a new product or service you’re thinking about offering. Their skills can help specialized small to medium-size businesses and enterprise conglomerates understand what particular products consumers want, who is likely to buy them, and what price they’re willing to pay. The analyst will also take into account subscriptions, rentals, and other revenue models.
There are many instances in which a business may benefit from hiring a market research analyst: when the business is selling a company or acquiring another enterprise; exploring a potential expansion into new products or services; considering territorial expansion; or looking to raise debt or equity capital. Market research analysis is also key when founders are contemplating starting a new business and want to learn more about market dynamics and what market share they might be able to command.
When to hire a market research analyst depends on your business needs. For example, your growing business might want to explore expanding into new countries or regions. An analyst could help you learn about the nuances of market dynamics in those locations. Or your company might be considering expanding into a newer technology, like drones. A market analyst can assess the potential pros, cons, and profitability of such a move.
Fully understanding the market in your industry and region of interest is the foundation for success. Knowledge is power, and market research analysis will provide your company with comprehensive, data-backed insights and an understanding of prospective and existing customers to help your company grow.